Book Launch – March 2008
Stephany Evans Steggall – Author of ‘Can I call you Colin’ launched another book of Colin’s earlier this year called ‘Sincerely Yours Colin Thiele‘: a final tribute to a great man.
The steady flow of letters from children to Colin Thiele, one of Australia’s best known and loved authors, began after the publication of The Sun on the Stubble in 1961.
From the time that Storm Boy was published in 1963, letters flooded the Thiele letterbox until it overflowed and he was obliged to build a bigger one.
Wading through the weekly deluge became part of his life. Colin never closed the floodgate or handed over control to a secretary when he was swamped. The rush of letters meant negotiating the torrent coming from places across a whole nation and attending to the tributary trickle from foreign places.
He took the task seriously, regarding it as part of a responsible author’s duty of care to channel answers to numerous questions. Some correspondents became his friends and some followed in his footsteps as writers and editors.
This book is about them but most of all it is about a storyteller who devoted his life to an outpouring of books that irrigated the minds of young people; and it is about a man whose genuine interest in his readers streamed out to them in personal replies to a great abundance of letters.
The book has been read and a short foreword was written by Max Fatchen a very good friend of Colin’s.
The introduction was by Colin Thiele himself.
One of the letters that was written was
Lives of the Letter Writers
‘Mr Thiele, have you ever had anyone say to you they don’t like your novels?’ ‘God bless you and keep you authoring books…
About the Author
’Stephany Evans Steggall was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award in 2002 to complete a PhD at the University Queensland. Her thesis, a biographical study of Colin Thiele, was adapted for a book published 2004: Can I Call You Colin? The Authorised Biography of Colin Thiele.
Her biography of Thiele’s contemporary, Ivan Southall, The Loved and the Lost, was published in 2006.
In 2005 she received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to assist with the writing of poet Bruce: Dawe’s biography, to be called Bruce Dawe: Life Cycle.
Pictures on this page are from both the Adelaide Book Week opening which was dedicated to Colin Thiele and the Book Launch which was held at Heysen House in Hahndorf during Book Week 2008.
The Herriman family were able to attend both functions and lucky enough to meet up again with Ronnie Thiele as she had flown down from Queensland just for the Stephany’s launch of Ronnie’s late husbands book.
Photos (left to right): (1) Some crowd photos from the launch, (2)Tony Crawford & Stephany Steggall with Colin’s new book ‘Miss Bilby and Stephany’s book ‘Yours Sincerely, Colin Thiele, (3) Ronnie Thiele receiving Yours Sincerely, Colin Thiele from Stephany, (4) Jenny Herriman receiving Stephany’s new book from her & (5) Another photo of the crowd at the book launch